As series three of Glee premieres on Sky One tonight, Wearside Gleeks will be able to get a fix of their favourite show closer to home, thanks to pop-tastic Scooch. Katy Wheeler talks to David Ducasse about the band’s shows in the region this weekend.
GLORIOUSLY camp, and proud of it, Scooch are set to make sure Sunderland’s first Pride Festival goes with a swing.
The former Eurovision hopefuls will be performing at a stage in Park Lane on Sunday as part of the city’s Pride celebrations, following a parade through the centre of town.
The four-piece, who competed for the Eurovision title in 2007, will be treating revellers to a selection of songs from hit TV show Glee, as well as their own top five single Flying the Flag.
David Ducasse, who runs Boldon Colliery-based stage school, Performers, said: “I’m really pleased that Sunderland is finally doing something for its lesbian, gay and transgender community.
“We performed at the first Newcastle Pride event and we were really proud to be part of that too.
“Newcastle has got a big gay scene especially with Boulevard, a burlesque drag bar, it has a big straight clientele who go there too and are comfortable with it.
“It’s about time Sunderland had something like this.
“Why not have a day when a whole community can come together? After all, the North East is known for sticking together.
“When I’ve moved away from the region in the past, it’s that sense of community spirit which has always drawn me back. You just don’t find it anywhere else.”
Pride-goers will take part in a mass parade through the city centre which starts at the civic centre at noon before finishing at Park Lane at 1pm.
David said: “I’m a gay man myself and when I was younger people were scared to come out and say they were different.
“It’s a very different world now though and if anything it can only get better. I’d urge everyone to come down and celebrate whether they are gay, straight or whatever.”
The night before Pride, the band will perform their new Scooch Does Glee show at the Customs House, South Shields.
Songs featured from Glee will include Don’t Stop Believing, Teenage Dream, Forget You, Teenage Dream, Bad Romance and more.
David explains how the 90s band, who reformed for Eurovision, came up with the concept.
“We were approached by a Manchester hotel last year to do a charity event styled around Glee, they asked if we could do Scooch with Glee and it went down a storm,” he said.
“From that random request we realised that there was mileage in the idea so we extended the repertoire and created two hours of material.
“It’s been dead popular and it’s great for us because it gives us a new lease of life.”
But with the past two series of Glee featuring tributes to dozens of songs, how did the band choose which ones to use?
David said: “Natalie, the other dark-haired member of the band, and I teach so we often speak to children about what songs they like and see which ones go down well.
“A lot of the music though is venue-specific. In theatre shows we tend to do the slower songs like rock ballads, but they wouldn’t work in a gay club, it would just kill the mood. So we do the ‘pop-ier’ numbers there.
“I’ve been performing at the Customs House on and off for years and it’s a home venue for my theatre school, so they are performing alongside us for Don’t Stop Believing and the Scooch song Flying the Flag.”
He added: “When Glee first started I absolutely loved it. It reminds me of when I was a kid and we used to watch Kids of Fame.
“It’s good because it’s a TV show with a strong storyline which the songs help to narrate.”
l Scooch will perform at the Customs House on Saturday. Tickets are £13, tel. 454 1234.
They will play Sunderland Pride at Park Lane on Sunday.
Other entertainment taking place in a specially constructed “Park Lane Village” from 1pm includes Pink tribute, I’m So P!nk; Girls Aloud tribute, Bears Aloud; R ‘n’ B singer, Beauty and local band Missing Linx.